A network connects two or more PCs so they can “talk” to each other. With a network, you can share an Internet connection, share files and devices such as printers, stream media, and even play network games with other people on the network.
To get started, decide what type of network you want. We recommend using a wireless network so that you have the option of using wired or wireless connections. Wireless connections give you the most mobility since they use radio waves to send info between PCs.
At a minimum, you'll need a router and a network adapter for each PC. Most laptops come with a wireless network adapter already installed, and most desktop PCs have a wired network adapter. It's very common to use wireless connections for laptops and wired connections for desktop PCs on the same network. If you want to connect to the Internet, you'll also need to have an account with an Internet service provider (ISP). We recommend broadband if it's available.
You can set up most newer routers automatically or by using the setup CD that came with the router. Follow the instructions that came with your router. Then connect the router to the Internet, following the instructions from your ISP.
The steps for adding a device or PC to a network can vary, depending on your Windows operating system and the type of networking hardware you have.
The best way to share files and printers after you've set up your home network is by using a homegroup. A homegroup is a group of PCs on your network that can share files and printers.
Next: Use HomeGroup to share over a network
Check the Web & networking section of Support for solutions.
See other PCs on your network and share with files with them.
Get to your shared files and folders using File Explorer.
See how to fix common network problems.